Judgement on wickedness: Judges 9.42–57 (25 July 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.


Daily reflection: Judges 9

There's an old English proverb that says, 'When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own' – when criminals are busy robbing each other, honest people can get on with their lives.

There's not much honesty in this bleak little story, but a good deal of murder and betrayal. Gideon's son Abimelech conspires with the city of Shechem and murders his brothers and half-brothers. The thieves fall out: while the city's leader remains loyal to Abimelech, a rebellion brews. Abimelech takes a bloody revenge, before himself dying in the siege of another city. A woman drops a stone on his head, and rather than suffer the ignominy of dying at her hands he gets his armour-bearer to kill him.

His fall was destined to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.

The writer knows what the story is about. 'In this way, God paid Abimelech back for the crime he committed against his father in killing his 70 brothers' (verse 56); he also 'made the men of Shechem suffer for their wickedness' (verse 57).

Anyone who reads much history will come across endless stories like this. Sometimes the villains face justice; sometimes they don't. But the Bible tells us that all crimes are committed under the eyes of God. Justice is built in to the way the world works: everyone is accountable. Not everyone is judged in this life, but everyone is judged.



God, help me not to despair when I see the wicked prosper, but to trust in your righteousness judgement. Help me to stand up for what's right, and comfort the afflicted.

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759